Mansfield Giants gifted win but lose star guard Mike Buffalo

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With visitors Team Birmingham unable to field a team, Mansfield Giants were gifted a 20-0 victory to boost their BE Division Three North play-off hopes last weekend.

However, there was also a ‘loss’ for the Mansfield side as their star American guard Mike Buffalo left the club to return home.

Team Birmingham forfeited Saturday’s game as they were unable to field a legal team.

The Giants needed a 15 point win to ensure they gained the head to head points difference over Birmingham, due to the 14 point defeat back in October last year.

That means Giants have now won seven out of their last nine games and are level with five other teams to take the fourth position.

The top four teams in the league will go through to the play-offs at the end of the season, so with nine games left, all is still to play for.

However, the Giants will need to be on top form this weekend as they travel to league leaders Liverpool on Saturday (4.30pm). Liverpool pipped the Giants 89-81 at home earlier on in the season.

But they will have to do it without Buffalo, who has had to leave the club to return back to the States for personal reasons.

The high-scoring guard will leave a huge gap to fill and head coach Dan Richards said: “He will be sadly missed.

“Buffalo was a great club player and enjoyed getting out in the community working with and inspiring the young people of Mansfield.

“That wasn’t the outcome everyone wanted last weekend. The players wanted to play and the club did a lot of promotion for the game, but these things happen unfortunately and most importantly we got the result we needed.

“All our focus now has to be on the Liverpool game. They are an outstanding team and it will take an unbelievable effort and focus to beat them.

“Losing Mike certainly doesn’t help and now have to adjust our team dynamics again to fill the void left.

“I would like to publicly thank Mike for everything he did for the club and wish him all the best for the future.”